Pill Machine (From the Collection #12)

The Story Before mass-production began in the nineteenth centuries and even into the beginning of the twentieth century, pharmacists created medicines in-house. For centuries they rolled pills by hand. This labour-intensive process began with a doctor’s prescription that indicated the weight of every ingredient needed to produce one pill as well as the number of … More Pill Machine (From the Collection #12)

Yankauer Ether Mask (From the Collection #11)

The Story The management of pain was, and still is, an essential part of medical practice. Until the 1840s, Western medicine relied on substances such as alcohol and opium to deaden the senses. The introduction of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), ether and chloroform by the mid-nineteenth century enabled surgeons to safely and effectively reduce pain … More Yankauer Ether Mask (From the Collection #11)

Medicine Chest (From the Collection #10)

The Story An early form of ‘doctor’s bag’, a wooden medicine chest was designed to hold instruments and drug supplies.  Some were finely crafted from imported woods and brass and had fitted drug bottles.  Wealthier families also kept their own medicine chests for home use.  Such appears to be the case with this particular chest.  … More Medicine Chest (From the Collection #10)

Stomach Pump and Enema Kit (From the Collection #9)

The Story For thousands of years, humans have attempted to maintain inner health by cleansing their gastrointestinal tracts. Two tools that have been employed for this purpose include the stomach pump and the enema.The story of the enema is much older than that of the stomach pump. For millennia, people have used enemas to treat … More Stomach Pump and Enema Kit (From the Collection #9)

Anastomosis Button (From the Collection #8)

The Story Once called the “surgical genius of our generation” by Dr. William Mayo, Dr. John Benjamin Murphy (1857-1916) was a renowned American surgeon who pioneered techniques in general surgery, orthopedics, cardiothoracic surgery, and neurosurgery. He attached his name to a number of tests and instruments, including Murphy’s sign (a diagnostic for cholecystitis), Murphy’s punch … More Anastomosis Button (From the Collection #8)

Monaural Stethoscope (From the Collection #6)

The Story In 1816, a French physician named René Laennec invented a non-invasive tool for “looking into the chest.” His inspiration came during an awkward encounter with a young woman suffering from symptoms of heart disease. To preserve her modesty and spare himself the embarrassment of placing his ear directly on her chest to listen … More Monaural Stethoscope (From the Collection #6)

Heart and Lung Machine (From the Collection #5)

The Story The creation of a functional heart and lung bypass machine in the early 1950s was a milestone in the history of heart surgery. Prior to WWI, the average survival rate for heart operations was less than forty percent. Twentieth-century technological innovations such as the invention of x-ray machines, the discovery of anti-coagulants, and … More Heart and Lung Machine (From the Collection #5)

Cardio Pacemaker (From the Collection #4)

The Story Many medical discoveries of the late 19th century contributed to the creation of the artificial pacemaker. By 1900, cardiac specialists knew that the heart was a muscle which contracted steadily in order to pump blood throughout the body, and were also aware of the effects that electricity produced in muscle tissues, namely contraction.[1] … More Cardio Pacemaker (From the Collection #4)